purple rain

Once a year, I bought Maddie a new canister of mace, just like the package suggested. Sure, I knew it was a scam, but then I would imagine standing over her crumpled corpse, mace still in her hand, and some cop walking up with his thumbs in his pockets. "She emptied the whole canister into his face," he would drawl. "But it appears that it was 14 months old. At that age, it's effectively chocolate silly string." And so even though I knew the year-thing was a scam, I gladly bought into the scam.

Maddie examined her new mace as I pulled on to I-71. She flicked the trigger guard with her finger, testing its hinge. And she somehow pressed the trigger with the mace aimed perfectly at my face.

Speed: 75
Traffic: Packed tightly
Visibility: None
Pain: Transcendent
Dye color: Rapist Purple

It's quite impossible to keep your eyes open when they're filled with mace. Shutting eyes is mace's sole purpose, really. It is equally impossible to pull over to I-71's four-foot wide berm against the cement divider during rush hour without the use of said eyes. So with my left hand, I physically pulled my eyes open—and excruciatingly, exposed them to air—for 20 more seconds as the Buick slashed across traffic and into the berm.

I'd be interested in having a mother try this. I'd like to know how the pain compares to childbirth, in severity if not in duration. Me, I would rather gouge out my eyes with acid-slathered icepicks than experience this again.

Maddie was uncharacteristically quiet. And then, even before I could open my eyes, she began laughing at the purple dye. The laughter built the whole way home. At some point, she apologized while she was still laughing, which was apparently really funny.

I didn't leave the house for a week. I got her back, though, by using all of her foundation makeup, which I'm told was really expensive. Yeah. We're even.